Day 3 of the first Investec Ashes Test between England and Australia had all the makings of a Bollywood potboiler – largely filled with action and drama. Yet, some of Australia’s tactics were a little baffling to say the least. An umpiring howler did well to liven up the proceedings towards the end of the day’s play.
Here are some of the Flops for the Day:
DRS in overdrive
It looks like the Australians really haven’t got used to the Decision Review System (DRS) technique implemented by the ICC to correct any mistakes made by the on-field umpires. With just one review remaining, anyone would expect the bowling side to wait for the right opportunity to take it. Instead, they went ahead and wasted it in trying to get rid of Jonny Bairstow after he played all over an in-swinging yorker from James Pattinson. Had they saved it for later, England would have been seven wickets down, and the Kangaroos would have been right back into the game. DRS is to be used judiciously, not at the spur of the moment!
Aleem Dar’s “Broad” mistake
Umpire Aleem Dar is known to be quite accurate with his decisions. Every now and then, however, a lapse in concentration results in an error. Having had a good day right up until the 118th over of England’s innings, Dar failed to spot the thick edge that flew off Stuart Broad’s blade as he tried to cut the left-arm spin of Ashton Agar. The ball ricocheted off Haddin’s gloves before settling nicely into Michael Clarke’s hands. To the consternation of the bowling side, Dar ruled Broad not out, and the Nottinghamshire all-rounder incensed his opponents further by not walking off when he was clearly out. I’d say Dar’s error was reminiscent of Steve Bucknor’s horrendous blunders at the infamous Sydney Test of 2007-08 between India and Australia.
Jonny Bairstow (15 runs off 62 balls)
I have absolutely no idea why Jonny Bairstow was picked to play in the middle order. The young man is, quite clearly, not cut out for the crucial No. 6 position. He scrapped and scratched around to score 15 runs and was fortunate enough to survive an in-swinging yorker from James Pattinson. Ashton Agar finally put the struggling batsman out of his misery, inducing him to send in a thin edge to Haddin behind the stumps. Bairstow could use a rest, I’d say.
When a batsman returns to some form, you’d normally expect him to have a spring in his step and take the field with gusto when his side is bowling. Phil Hughes, however, hasn’t learned from that experience. While facing the left-arm spin of Agar, England’s Stuart Broad miscued an attempted slog-sweep to mid-wicket, where Hughes was stationed. The Aussie got to the ball after it landed safely, but in trying to pull it back away from the boundary rope, he fell, and the red cherry was somehow palmed over the line. None of the fielders were impressed with his sloppy work in the deep. It just goes to underline how fielding is as important as the other two departments of the game.